Pure air has suddenly been recognised as a highly important measure to minimise infection from airborne pathogens. Proper filtration of air cannot be underestimated in its effect to health, not only preventing health issues but improving focus and train of thought in workplaces and educational spaces.
Here are some insights on how intelligent organisations are improving wellness in shared spaces.
1: Implement HEPA Filtration
The first and foremost step is to improve your air quality. Strategically placing HEPA filters in shared spaces, collaborative areas and high traffic areas will be your first and most important step.
There is a range of air purifiers on the market but few that are certified to do what they are intended for with absolute effectiveness.
Key characteristics to look for in an air purifier are:
Certified H13/H14 HEPA Filtration (minimum)
Claims from manufacturers to contain HEPA filters are often not certified and cannot be guaranteed to be successful.
H13/14 certified filters will filter out even the tiniest viral and bacterial particles.
No Ioniser/Plasma or UV-C components
UV-C are very effective at neutralising sub-organic compounds, however, needs lengthy exposure time meaning leakage of contaminated air. Ionisers on the other hand charge the air (like a bad thunderstorm) are not as effective at filtering out particles. Both methods produce ozone which is very harmful to the respiratory system.
High CADR – approx. 350ft3/min acceptable for standard room size
A good clean air delivery rate is essential to ensuring appropriate amounts of air in the room can be circulated through the filtration system. Smaller CADR will mean the unit covers a smaller volume.
Connectivity & Fleet Management
Connectivity is very important from especially a maintenance/facility management perspective. Ability to remotely control a unit means the manager will be able to react fast to potential risks.
Connectivity will provide further awareness as to filter life and device health.
Air filters should not detrimental but rather conducive to work ethic and mental functioning. Ensure you select a unit that has good CADR capacity but also quiet on normal speeds.
Air quality sensors inbuilt
Inbuilt air quality sensors will give a device ability to react to poor conditions. This is an important safety feature. Whereas normally, only noticeably poor conditions would lead to a manual reaction, quality sensors can pick up small changes and react pre-emptively.
Anti-microbial filter treatment
This is one of the most important features after having a certified filter. Standard filters will not inactivate viral particles and will essentially store them in the filter in high concentration. Anti-microbial treatment such as Zinc-Pyrithion or other harmless materials will kill viral and organic materials in minutes.
NOTE: HVAC systems are very effective at spreading air (and therefore viral air) throughout a building to improve comfort. HVAC is not a substitute for air cleaners.
2: CO2 Monitors
As an enhancement on HEPA filtration is CO2 or general air monitoring. CO2 monitors can help in identifying which areas are prone to the most airborne infection, by recording where human-produced CO2 lies. This is a secondary step and will enhance the ability to identify and enable source control.
HEPA Filters will not remove CO2, however carbon dioxide levels can help indicate where a HEPA filter should operate.
What do I look for in an air quality monitor?
- Wireless connectivity
This helps massively with installing, potentially saving a lot of facility work to hard-wire monitors.
- Good reporting platform
What use is a CO2 monitor if you can’t see metrics?
- Relay system
CO2 monitors with a good relay system will enable you to ‘set and forget’, as they are able to trigger increased circulation from your HEPA system.
- Other sensors
A good value and high-quality monitor will have important sensors such as Radon, temperature, humidity, PM2.45 particles and the likes. This is important in general workplace air quality and wellness and will help address problems.
- Air quality readout/indicator
Air quality readouts will help on a localised level to identify any risk and to manually adjust based on levels at the time.